'Ontario’s corporate taxes are already lower than those of our competitors. Cutting them further just takes money away from the things that make an economy strong.' - Warren (Smokey) Thomas.
Toronto (9 Dec. 2010) - The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) has started a vital public conversation about the folly of corporate tax cuts, says OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas.
In an article on the union's website, Thomas says OPSEU members took the issue directly to the people of the province by staging a series of 24 events in communities across Ontario.
"Neither the Liberals nor the Tories want this conversation to happen," Thomas writes.
"Under Mike Harris (and) under Dalton McGuinty, the most profitable corporations in this land have had their way on everything. And no matter what the problem, their solution has always been the same: give corporations more money," he notes.
"Our union is challenging that world view. We are talking about the fact that every dollar we donate to corporations comes out of health care, education, environmental protection and other services. And when it doesn’t come out of services, it comes out of the wages of working people."
Thomas says working people - "our members" - spend the wages they make in their communities and the wages of workers form the economic bedrock of every community.
"Cut them and you cut local economies," he says.
Thomas takes issue with the never-ending claim of the business community that corporate tax cuts create jobs.
"Ontario’s corporate taxes are already lower than those of our competitors. Cutting them further just takes money away from the things that make an economy strong. Things like public health care. An educated workforce. A modern transportation and communications system," he argues.
"From Thunder Bay to Windsor to my home town of Kingston, our members are putting corporate tax cuts on the political map of Ontario. We are challenging the status quo.
"For too long, working people everywhere have been told that we will benefit in the future if we give corporations what they want today. It hasn’t turned out that way. Wages are slipping. The number of jobs is slipping. The quality of jobs is slipping.
"We need a better solution. And that starts with challenging the people who really run this province and challenging the way they run it.
"I want to say congratulations and thank you to our member mobilizers and to all our members who organized, led and took part in our corporate tax cut events. Your work is setting the agenda in Ontario. In the months and years ahead, your work will transform Ontario – for the better."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE